August 03, 2010, 4:29 PM — Ok, pop quiz time. Which of the following things upsets you more?
a. A new jailbreak app could give an attacker total control over your iPhone
b. A new hacking tool exploits Google location data to pinpoint exactly where you live
c. The fact Microsoft sold out IE8 users' privacy for a biscuit and a cup of lukewarm Gatorade
d. A ball of superheated plasma yakked up by the sun is going to hit the earth tonight like a ton of 400-million-degree bricks
Why not e, all of the above?
It's a paranoid's paradise here today at TY4NS, where privacy, security, and Biblical threats are coming fast and furious. Let's take them one by one, shall we?
[ See also: Why location privacy is important ]
Apple: Got an iPhone? Launch Safari and visit Jailbreakme.com, then move the slider to the right; congratulations, your phone is now jailbroken.
This allows you to do an end run around Apple's restrictive app store policies. It also lets malicious nogoodniks do an end run around the iPhone and Safari's security restrictions. Even better, it works on the iPod Touch, iPad, and any other Apple device running the iOS 4.0.1 or later.
On Twitter, Apple security researcher Charlie Miller (aka Zero Day Charlie), calls the jailbreakme.com exploit "very beautiful work. Scary how it totally defeats Apple's security." Nice.
At present, there are no known threats that exploit these techniques, which allow an outside attacker to get root access to the device (ie, complete pwnership). By the time I'm finished writing this blog post, there may well be.
Google: According to a report by the BBC, hacker Samy Kamkar has come up with a way to fool routers into coughing up the physical location of people who visit a specially crafted Web site. The exploit simply matches the router's unique MAC address with information gleaned from the Google Street View location database. He can get within 10 yards of your location.
The BBC quotes F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen, who says: